April 2005

Getting to Know General Physical Preparedness Several years ago, I could say with confidence that I was a well-oiled athlete, conditioned in almost every aspect of my sport --soccer. Then it happened. I caught the weightlifting bug. Sixty body-weight pounds later, a couple hundred more pounds added to my squat, bench press and squat, and I still I felt like I was in great shape. The problem was, I couldn't jog for more than 5 minutes without feeling like my heart was going to explode. I quickly realized where I'd gone wrong. The problem was, after getting so caught up with the idea...

As a strength coach I am frequently asked if I have any certain strategies for gaining strength for sport that I find superior. To simplify the entire approach let me state that improving strength is really a matter of increasing 3 basic things. These things are: 1. Increased movement efficiency 2. Increased motor unit recruitment 3. Increased muscle size Increased movement efficiency In strength training you do this by practicing the specific lifts. As you become more proficient at a lift your body learns how to accomplish the task easier. Simple enough. For an athlete, this part of improving strength is of little concern unless you...

One of the biggest problems with strength training for endurance athletes is the following: should I train like a strength athlete, like an aerobics instructor, or do I just skip the weights altogether? Most of the time, you’ll see runners training with weights one of two ways: 1. like a bodybuilder 2. like a wimp, meaning they will lift the 5 pound dumbbells ad nauseum thinking that this is creating endurance. Let me state for the record that both methods are completely wrong. Big surprise there, right? Let me make another statement that I’m sure you’ll love. There is much research regarding strength...